By Shamiso Ndangana
Youth, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry has told Parliament that the much-awaited National Youth Bill is nearing completion.
The Bill is part of the legislative agenda that was announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he officially opened the Second Session of the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe.
Youths in Zimbabwe have often complained that their issues are not being considered due to the lack of a law that speaks to youth issues.
Speaking while giving oral evidence when she appeared before the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Minister Coventry said the draft is almost done.
“The Attorney General’s Office has indicated to us that the draft Bill is near completion. To that end, the Ministry is organising a write-shop for the week beginning 24 May 2021 to finalise the draft Bill.
“Once completed, the Ministry will facilitate country-wide stakeholder consultations. A road map has been developed by the Ministry and it spells out all the stages that must be followed up to the Bill being assented to by His Excellency. Thereafter, the Bill will be launched and disseminated”, she said.
Minister Coventry also took the opportunity to highlight efforts being done by her ministry to decentralise the Zimbabwe Youth Council as a way of fostering fair representation of youth.
“We are focusing on the decentralisation of the Zimbabwe Youth Council as indicated in the Ministry’s 2021-25 Strategic plan which is aligned to the NDS1 (2021-25). The Ministry is working towards the decentralisation of the ZYC to all the 10 provinces of the country.
“Decentralisation will ensure effective coordination, supervision, promotion and fostering of youth activities at provincial and district level,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the Youth Minister has said her Ministry is also working on strategies of disseminating the National Youth Bill to youths and stakeholders across the country.
She said the strategies include among other things translation of the Bill into all the major languages including braille.
Kirsty Coventry: National Youth Bill almost complete